India's top mobile carrier doubles earnings

Bharti Airtel, India's largest mobile phone company, said its net profit in the most recent quarter almost doubled from a year ago, thanks to robust growth in new subscribers, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said profit rose to 13.53 billion rupees ($314 million) in the January-March quarter from 6.82 billion rupees in the same period a year ago, the company said in a statement.

Annual profit for the financial year ended March 31 surged 89% to 42.57 billion rupees ($990 million), the report said.

The numbers, which conform to US accounting standards, beat expectations of most analysts, but failed to lift the company's stock prices as the market fell sharply, the report said.

Quarterly revenue rose 58% to 53.93 billion revenues ($1.25 billion), taking annual revenues to 185.20 billion rupees ($4.31 billion,), up 59%, the report said.

New Delhi-based Bharti said it added 17.5 million new mobile phone customers last year, the report added.

There are now about 166 million cell phone users in the country, the report further said.